Killer who hid flatmate's dismembered body in suitcases jailed for life

A woman who murdered her flatmate and hid her body in suitcases has been jailed for life.

Gareeca Gordon, 28, fatally stabbed Phoenix Netts, 28, at the property they shared in Birmingham, on April 16, last year.

Bristol Crown Court heard that Gordon killed Ms Netts days after ‘demanding’ a sexual relationship with her and became aggressive when she refused.

Gordon dismembered the victim’s body with a circular saw before making several trips to the Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire, to conceal her remains in suitcases.

She then carried out a series of ‘detailed, organised actions’ to pretend Ms Netts was still alive while she disposed of her body.

She sent messages, emails and called Ms Netts’ family and friends while purporting to be the victim, telling them she was moving to London.

Gordon was today jailed for life with a minimum term of 23 years and six months at Bristol Crown Court.

Passing sentence, Mrs Justice Cutts described Ms Netts as a ‘deeply loved’ person who had been intending to move back in with her parents in London – but plans had been delayed due to Covid-19 restrictions.

‘Her future was looking bright, shining and promising. A fresh start was ahead of her,’ the judge told Gordon.

‘You robbed her of that fresh start. You took her from the supportive parents who loved and cherished her.’

The judge said that days before the murder, Gordon had pushed Ms Netts around the room when she refused a sexual relationship.

‘That sexual interest continued into the April, when Ms Netts told another friend that your behaviour was scaring her,’ she said.

‘There’s no doubt you were pressing Ms Netts for sex in the days and weeks leading up to the murder.’

The last known contact Ms Netts had was a phone call with a friend in the early hours of April 16. He had attempted to call her back that afternoon but couldn’t get through.

Another woman living in the shared accommodation with Ms Netts and Gordon heard noises of drilling, banging and cries of ‘help me’, on April 16, the prosecution said.

Internet searches including ‘how to fix punctured lung’, ‘can someone recover from getting stabbed’ and ‘internal bleeding’ were made on Ms Netts’ phone between 1.04pm and 3.07pm on the day of the murder, the court heard.

Gordon later bought a circular saw on Gumtree for £45. It was delivered to the property shortly before 11am on April 17.

A post-mortem examination found Ms Netts had suffered four stab wounds to the front of her torso, heard the court. A saw was then used to dismember her body when it was either clothed or partially clothed.

Gordon was arrested on the evening of May 12 after police were alerted to suspicious reports of a vehicle driving near Coleford.

She was found at about 11pm beside Stowfield Quarry near Coleford in the Forest of Dean with two suitcases, which contained the remains of Ms Netts.

Gordon was later charged with murder and was due to stand trial but pleaded guilty to the charge during a hearing at Bristol Crown Court on April 21.

Speaking after Gordon pleaded guilty to murder, Lesley Milner of the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said: ‘Gareeca Gordon committed a truly gruesome crime and tried to cover her tracks.

‘Thankfully, the remarkable and detailed police investigation in identifying Phoenix Netts led to the CPS building a compelling case against Gordon, which resulted in her pleading guilty.

‘She has now accepted the totality and consequences of her actions.’

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